Colombo, June 19 (newsin.asia) – Several international airlines including Emirates have expressed interest in partnering with Sri Lanka’s national airline carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines for its development under the Private Public Partnership model, an official here said on Monday.
State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne told reporters here that informal talks had taken place with those having interest in investing in Sri Lanka’s national career, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Sri Lankan Airlines is currently operated at a loss. The government has laid down plans to restructure it. It found a foreign investor initially. Yet, the deal was not successful.
“We are in contact with Emirates at the moment. Likewise, we will hold talks with a few other airlines interested in investing here. We will not go for outright privatization of our airline. It will be only equity sharing under the Private Public Partnership model,” he said.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last year said his government would seek for an international partner who could manage and invest in the country’s state owned national airline carrier after the airline recorded a massive debt of 3.25 billion U.S. dollars.
Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lankan Airlines was a ‘landmine’ for the country’s economy with its high debts and the government would take over part of its debts in order to seek for an international partner or investor.